Man Charged After Killing and Skinning Two Dogs He Believed Were Coyotes

61-year-old hunter Michael Konschak has been charged after he admitted to killing and skinning two German shepherds he believed were coyotes, NBC News reports.

In an appearance in Danbury Superior Court on Wednesday, Konschak expressed remorse for killing the Connecticut family’s dogs, Cimo and Lieben. “Please know that it was never my intent that morning to harm the victims’ pets,” said Konschak, who was arrested by police in February on charges of tampering with evidence, forgery, interfering with a law enforcement officer, and various hunting-related violations.

Danbury State Attorney David Applegate said the case is still under investigation, but animal rights advocates have urged those involved to add animal cruelty charges to the case. Konschak’s lawyer has described the deaths of the two dogs as an accident and applied for a special probation program in an effort to get his charges wiped, although the request was rejected by a judge on Wednesday.

“We live with the emotional pain as we think about what they felt in their final moments lying beside each other dying,” said Erin Caviola, one of the owners of the dogs. "They loved each other so much, to picture that is heartbreaking." She added that her family searched for Cimo and Lieben for three weeks, and noted their heads are still missing after they were allegedly removed by Konschak.

According to the arrest warrant for Konschak, the hunter killed the two dogs with his crossbow on Nov. 18 in Ridgefield after they escaped from the Caviola family’s yard. He was hunting deer at a nearby property when he spotted and shot the dogs, and claimed he thought they were coyotes. He skinned the two 10-year-old German shepherds after fatally shooting them. Applegate has argued there are inconsistencies in Konschak’s account, and suggested it was far-fetched that he did not realize they were dogs before he skinned them.

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